The winners of JASNA’s 2021 Essay Contest have been selected, and we invite you to read their outstanding entries on our website. A list of the students awarded Honorable Mention is also posted online.
"Indulged with his favorite instrument."Illustration by C.E. Brock, Mansfield Park, 1908 (Internet Archive)
The JASNA Essay Contest is an annual event open to high school, college/university, and graduate school students worldwide. We sponsor it each year to help foster the study and appreciation of Jane Austen's works in new generations of readers. This year, participants were asked to discuss Jane Austen and the arts: how she used the arts to reveal character, address social standing, advance the plot, or otherwise make a point in her novels.
We received submissions from students in the United States, Canada, and 13 other countries: Croatia, China, Ethiopia, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines, Poland, Singapore, Slovenia, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, and Uzbekistan. The entries were evaluated in two rounds by 31 judges, and the top 3 essays in each division were selected for scholarship awards. The first-place winners have also been invited to attend JASNA's 2021 Annual General Meeting.
Congratulations to this year's winners, and many thanks to all the contest participants and judges!
High School Division
- First Place: Emma K. Fontenot
"The Master Manipulator: Jane Austen’s Use of Portrait Drawing in Emma"
- Second Place: Aidyn Turk
"The Myth of the Accomplished Woman: The Arts in Austen’s Novels"
- Third Place: Clara C. Brodey
"Portraiture in Emma: Realist or 'Imaginist'?"
- First Place: Audrey K. Peterson
"Seeing and Knowing: Taste as Moral Judgment"
- Second Place: Rebecca H. Kilroy
"Elinor and Emma: Artistic Vision and Social Standing of Two Jane Austen Heroines"
- Third Place: Josephine M. Roy
"Mistresses of Music: The Pianoforte and Social Mobility in Jane Austen’s Novels"
Graduate School Division
- First Place: Anjalee Nadarajan
"Staging Flirtation at the Pianoforte in Sense and Sensibility and Emma"
- Second Place: Sharon Cohen
"Interpretive Ekphrasis and the Marital Marketplace: Elinor’s Drawings in Sense and Sensibility"
- Third Place: Victoria Zhuang
"The Triumph of the Insufficiently Accomplished Woman: Austen’s Examination of how the Arts Reflect Women’s Agency"
You'll find the winning essays published here.